This year, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mahindra Scorpio. It started life as Mahindra’s first truly modern product but more importantly, the Scorpio gave the manufacturer confidence to bring out more passenger-oriented vehicles. We can safely say that it is the Scorpio that sired the most-talked about SUV, the XUV5oo, till the Renault Duster came along. The Scorpio then, has made its place in Indian automotive history, but will it be just that, now that the Duster is here? Will the SUV from Mahindra’s ex-partner spoil the Scorpio’s tenth anniversary celebrations? Read on?
LOOKS: Stylish vs Macho
There’s no doubt about – the Duster is a good-looking SUV. The flared wheel arches make all the difference. The sides may look a little bare and for the Indian variant, the use of a chrome grille may make it a little loud front-on (frankly, we like the European Dacia Duster in terms of appearance) but there’s no taking away from the fact that it looks modern and contemporary. It is not as imposing as the Scorpio and consequently, getting in and out is easier compared to the Mahindra, which you have to clamber on to. Since it is based on a monocoque, passenger car platform (the Logan), the Duster is more car-like than the Scorpio and this shows in the way it drives too. But more on that later. The Scorpio is, on the other hand, more muscular and in-your-face. There are no delicate touches in the way it looks. Its wide stance plus the ladder-frame chassis means it is bulky and this translates to a better presence on the road. The Scorpio does not have an integrated, pure design overall, unlike the XUV, for instance. It is a mish-mash of styles, but since it is something we’re used to and familiar with, it does not jar. In other words, it looks dated – even if the modern Duster is not parked alongside.
Verdict, round one: If you want to show who’s the boss of the road (excepting a state transport bus, of course), it has to be the Scorpio. But if you want a good-looking SUV, it is the Renault
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